Priorities for midwifery research in Perth, Western Australia: A Delphi study
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
This paper reports a two-round Delphi study undertaken to identify the research priorities of midwives at five public maternity hospitals in Western Australia's metropolitan area of Perth. In round one, 117 midwives identified 64 different problems or issues for research. Using thematic content analysis, these problems were grouped together and then collapsed to develop 17 specific research topics within four major categories. In round two, 152 midwives were asked to rank how important each of the topic statements were to women, their families and midwives. Research focusing on ‘the postnatal experience’ was ranked by midwives as the most important to the care of women and their families. From a midwife's perspective, the highest ranked topic was ‘examining the professional issues that impact on midwives’ clinical practice’ (e.g. midwifery and medical collaboration, potential litigation and horizontal violence in the workplace). The results of the study show that Western Australian midwives, like their national and international colleagues, are concerned about the delivery and organization of maternity services, the invisibility of the postnatal experience and how to operationalize evidence-based care in the clinical area.